How do you deal with a mother so mean and abusive?

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It seems like so many of us have the same issues.
My mother has not been nice all my life. So these last few years have been even harder to deal with.
But, 2 months ago my mother had a stroke. She seems to have recovered okay from it, but it has warp sped her dementia! My 2 other sisters, well one tries to relieve me once a week, but the one that actually lives with my mother has been, well, not available. My mother couldn't go back to thier home, because it was filthy. So she came to stay with us while it got cleaned. (6 weeks later still not clean). I could deal with her I think though, if mom wasn't so nasty! She remembers things, but she cannot do everything herself. I just cry everyday, because she is just that mean. My 15 year old just avoids being in the same room, and I feel bad. Our home is usually lots of fun, but we all just tippy toe around.
I am sorry to say, I wish I could just take her someplace else till her home is ready. What do I do. I want happiness back in my home again....

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Expert Answer
3931 helpful answers
When someone is dying, people often make promises out of love or desperation. They also tell others they will, "never put them in a nursing home." It's hard not to do this. For those who have not already done it - the best answer is, "I will always try to do my best for you, but we don't know the future, so I can't promise that."

You promised your dad under pressure. That is not a promise you have to keep, while putting your own health at risk. You need help, and you need to be able to walk away from abuse.

You and your husband both need to find some respite help, even if it's paid, so you can have time to reconnect, before this wrecks your marriage. Yes, you haven't had time to grieve. I know I didn't, and it wasn't until after my mother died that I was able to slowly go back and grieve them both. It's taken years.

Keep coming on the site. We can't fix your problems, but we can listen. Please do look at some outside help, and don't feel guilty. You are doing your human best. Don't wreck your health and marriage to honor a promise that you didn't know how not to make.

Carol
SUNSHINECAREGIVER
You are right my cat seems to know when my fibromyalgia or R.A. is bad and he sleeps next to me and leans his warm body into mine and his warmth helps me go to sleep- it is the best medician-I lucked out when I met him at the shelter 2 yrs ago and when I cry he really seems to understand.
There is so much in all the posts that I have read that is my mother, in one aspect or another. At first, no one believed me, I tried desperately for someone to just listen, until I found this site.

I am coping better, and finally got my mother to go to the doctor, and they re-prescribed my mother her medicines. Zoloft, Xanax, blood pressure medicine, Namenda etc.... Now everyone who was on my side as far as believing me, with how she acted and how she treated me, believe that maybe I'M THE ONE with the problem. After dealing with my father's passing, all the while dealing with her, and still no help from family or friends. (They at one time believed me.) Now with mother starting back on her prescription medication, she is more calm and can hold a conversation a little longer. Soooo, it must be me now.

Now, I hear, I don't see what your saying about mom. She seems to be doing so much better after father has passed. Little do they know, but the questions they ask, and her replies are basically what I have told her. She NOW can repeat questions, from what I have been telling her. It is going around full circle again. No one called her after my father died. NOW on mother's day, no one can see any difference in her behavior from before my father passed... AM I the one lost? or is my mother still the narcisstic, pity seeking woman she has always been?

I would really like a response, from anyone so that I know I'm not the one going through mental illness. I am totally at wits end. Either that, or my sisters and brother feel, they don't have to worry as much. Maybe, I'm just helpless forever
Hopeless, yours is truly a case of no good deed goes unpunished. You pulled off a minor miracle in getting your mom medicated and acting and feeling better, and now no one can imagine that's what made the difference. If it helps any, my daughter's fiance just got started on a little Celexa after some very angry episodes on his job, and its been the same kind of turnaround. (PTSD? What PTSD?) - He is a veteran and highly entitled to his PTSD, and hopefully will continue getting support and counseling for it - he is very good at what he does, and they made it a point that if he got help he got to keep his job.

Anyways, FWIW, *I* believe you! If I had a nickel for every time I heard "she's sharp as a tack" just because my mom recognized people and conversed a little, plus could memorize the date from the sign on the wall long enough to give the doctor the right answer...well I would not be a millionaire but I'd have enough for a couple months worth of good coffee.
DEADRE
I found that I just had to leave the room often when my husband was verbably abusive which is how your Mom treats you.Sometimes you can talk to the person but I talked about until I was blue in the face. When it was time to come home from rehab he would agree to be better and would be for a few days and then he would go right back to being mean. Now I tell myself I am worth more than that and his power over me to try to bring me down is gone. It took a long time for him to GET IT. When I told him other people were talking about us from what they see when we are out together he was shocked he could not understand what he was doing wrong. Now I don't go out with-I go bymyself to places we use to go together. I don't think your sisters' house will ever be ready- after 6 weeks she should have had at least enough of the house ready to take your Mon back. I was told by a therapist I was waiting for someone to rescue me and that was not going to happen-I had to do it for myself--it was very very hard to change and he resised it like crazy-he was happy me being his servant-his life was good my health was going down the tubes. Keep in touch it helps to verbalize. Take care
Sometimes peaceful non-retaliatory quietness and silence or soft music is the best answer. Mindful quietness will transport you to a peacful place where the "noise" starts to fade into the distance, much like so-called "white noise." Neither your Mom now anyone else ican give you happiness back. If you really want it, you will have to reach for it and re-create it in your world, if you know what I mean. I create my own happiness daily, and it has nothing to do with the circumstances in which I may find myself on any given day. Doesn't mean I don't cry on occasion. After all, you and I are only human. Yes, as 195 Austin has said in his/her reply, keep sharing your feelings with others who understand. That really helps.
I'll bet your cat is more understanding than most! Enjoy that peaceful feeling within.
Animals are intuitive in a way that most humans will never be, including sometimes when they "signal" that something is wrong in their favorite human's life and/or body. Animals "speak" volumes, if we but listen within our Spirits. That is touching how your cat is so close to you, 195Austin!
On Sept. 6th, Dad suffered multiple strokes which affected his left side. He was in the hospital for 4 days....then we moved him to an SNF for rehab. That next Sunday, he had a TIA which affected the left side of his face (drooping) and slurred his speech. This time, I had the ambulance take him to a hospital that has a stroke trauma unit. That was Sunday the 14th. He's still in the hospital. His condition has worsened. Not only from the vascular dementia (he's really starting to hallucinate more) but also from the brain damage from these last series of strokes. The doctors told me last Friday that it's all irreversible. The PT and OT aren't working. Dad has lost his spacial / perceptual abilities. He wants to get out of bed but panics when they even move him from side to side to change his sheets. They recommended Hospice in an ICF. I've been running as fast as I can to get his Medicaid application processed so it'll pick up the cost of the ICF. I've visited and toured facilities and chose one that has a very good reputation and it's homey and the staff seems to really care. My mom, in the meantime, has hired herself another attorney and continues to fight me in what I'm trying to do. She had her attorney send me a 'do not contact' letter which is ludicrous. I'm at the hospital 12-14 hours each day. She comes for a 30-45 min. visit every 3 to 4 days. And yet, she wants to take me back to court to fight for visitation every day from 4:00 - 8:30. I said 'no', that I wasn't going to leave Dad alone for 4-1/2 hours each day in the off chance that she might decide to visit. The 2 brothers are continuing to throw wrenches in the works in support of mom. I finally had to tell the hospital staff not to give them any information on Dad's condition because they were making things worse. The 3 of them showed up at the hospital last night and hovered around Dad's bed, handed him a pen and had him sign a legal document. The nurse saw what they were doing, ran into the room and told them it was illegal. Then she ran to get the social worker who called me. By the time I got there, they were leaving. I have no idea what they had him sign, but whatever it was, it's illegal. I'm his legal guardian and he can no longer sign things.

This whole thing has been the worst nightmare in the world. At a time when I want to be spending with my Dad, I'm constantly having to get on the phone to talk to attorneys and put out 'fires' that my brothers are setting. This afternoon, the hospital quality control manager asked for a meeting with me because my brother called and complained about what I was doing. She looked at my legal documents and said she'd call him back and tell him that everything I was doing was legal. He even complained that the hospital staff was 'spying' on them last night when they had Dad sign whatever that form was.

The nurses tell me that everyone responds to terminal illness in their own way. And that may be what is going on with my mother and brothers. Thank goodness my two sisters are supportive of me and what I'm doing for our Dad.

Has anyone ever had someone like this to deal with???
I do not know where to even begin, I am so frustrated, angry, hurt, and resentful.

My 67 year old father-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson's approx. 5 years ago. After my mother-in-law died (3 years ago) we noticed that he was not caring for himself. He showed lack of concern of personal grooming, doing things outside of the home, or even energy. After a several discussions with my husband I reluctanely moved into my father-in-law's home with my husband, myself, and my three children. (my father-in-law has always been an ungrateful person and very degrading of my husband - therefore my reluctance) I agreed because I saw the concern in my husband's eyes when he thought of his dad being alone across town.

At first his needs were basic, laundry, preparing meals, preparing his daily medications, transporation to doctor's appts. etc. However, in February of '08 my nightmare started. My father-in-law began to swell in the feet and legs. After taking him to his Cardiologist he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and placed in the hospital. He spent the next 8 months in and out of hospitals 11 times. During this past 8 months he has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, COPD, Sleep Apnea, Kidney Stone, Deterioration in his back and ankles, Depression, and Anxiety.

Now, he is considered "home bound" and needs help doing pretty much everything on a personal stand point (banking, paying bills, meals, etc.) His physical care varies. He has his days when he needs help putting on his clothes, obtaining things cuz he can't walk, and then he has days when you wouldn't know he suffered from all these conditions.

Although his physical health has stabled his mental health has gotten out of control. And so has mine!!

I won't trouble you with every little detail but in the past year and a half of living here my father-in-law has not only degraded my husband on a almost daily basis but he has also began degraded myself and now my children. (I have a daughter that is 17, a step son that is 17 and a son that is 6).

My father-in-law name calls, has been in my face screaming at me, has called the police on my husband (trying to have us removed from "his" house), has been in my step-sons face telling him to get out of "his" house, downgrades the way I cook, look, and handle my life. He fights us on his care. He refuses to use his medical assistance devices and cancels half the doctor's appts we set for him. He even complains on a daily basis to us and anyone else that listens that he wants supper at 5 o'clock and I should do it when he wants it now when the family wants it. I was not brought up in a family environment of such distress I am like on eggshells. I never know what he is going to do and say. I have been to my wits end and packed my things up and was heading to my mom's house but then both my husband and my father-in-law beg me to stay. For the sake of my husband, I do. But now it's getting very hard to keep a positive attitude.

I want to move out for the sake of my children but my husband avoids the situation. What does someone do?

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